By Ameh Ejekwonyilo
A former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Imo State, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume (SAN), has lent his voice to growing calls for improved health facilities in Nigeria in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Recently, Bill Gates, the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), said a country like Nigeria needs to invest more in primary healthcare to ensure it is well prepared for the next global pandemic.
The American billionaire had said more people die in Nigeria from primary healthcare deficit every year than the total number of deaths in Africa from the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is against this background that the former Imo State commissioner, commended the Ebonyi State government for embarking on the construction of an ultramodern Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital and other allied specialised medical centres at Uburu community area of the state.
Ume stated this in a press statement he pushed out on Sunday in Abuja.
He disclosed that after visiting the ongoing hospital projects in the state, which he said had reached 75 per cent completion, the problem of medical tourism abroad by Nigeria’s political class would be a thing of the past.
“The sophisticated (hospital) projects, almost at 75 per cent completion occupies about several hectares of land and include among others: six solid, modern and massive specialist structures of five storeys; some to serve as the teaching hospital. The rest have capacity for several bed spaces set up for the treatment of specific diseases,” the federalist lawyer said.
Ume who is also the rapporteur of Victims of Persecution, a nongovernmental organisation, praised the Ebonyi State governor, Engr. Dave Umahi whom he met at the site of the massive projects, for his unwavering commitment to infrastructural development of the state.
“It is gratifying that the current ugly trend of wherein Nigerian and African elites troop to Europe and America for medical treatment would soon end with them looking inwards to Nigeria,” Ume said.
He lauded the people of Uburu for their support to the project as well as public officers in Ebonyi State for their commitment to good governance.